AUGUSTA (AP) – Members of the Maine Gambling Control Board are calling for a delay before any more casino-style gambling facilities are authorized in the state.

At its regular monthly meeting Friday, the board adopted a nonbinding resolution calling for a moratorium on any expansion of gambling until the board has gathered enough information “to assure an accurate assessment of the effect of gaming, both tangible and intangible, on the people, the social fabric, and the business infrastructure of Maine.”

The resolve comes nine months after Penn National Gaming Inc. opened the state’s first and only slot machine facility, Hollywood Slots at Bangor.

“I support a moratorium until we know where we are going with gambling in the state of Maine,” said board member Peter Danton, who is chairman of the state’s liquor and lottery commission.

Danton and fellow board members Larry Hall and Michael Peters voted in favor of the resolution, with Cushing Samp opposed. Chairman George McHale abstained.

At Samp’s recommendation, board members agreed to revisit the moratorium resolve every six months or so, “for as long as it seems pertinent.”

The vote comes at a time when efforts are under way to expand gambling in Maine. A Rumford-based group launched a campaign last month to collect signatures to force a statewide referendum that would pave the way for a casino in Oxford County in western Maine.

The board also gave its approval on a one-year license renewal for Hollywood Slots and the supplier of some of its 475 slot machines. The board’s votes to renew the licenses followed a public hearing.

and reports on separate probes by the board’s financial consultant and criminal background checks by state police, neither of which brought forth any problems

Hollywood Slots opened last November with 475 slot machines in the former Miller’s Restaurant on Main Street.

Penn National, which is based in Pennsylvania, plans to open a larger permanent gambling complex down the street in 2008 with 1,000 of the 1,500 slots the company is authorized to operate.

Information from: Bangor Daily News,

AP-ES-08-12-06 1141EDT

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